In the world of image processing research, it is important to have standard test images so people can compare their results. The cameraman image is a test image that has been used for decades. It can be found in many image processing textbooks and homework problems.
Imaging and photography has come quite a long ways since then. Just for fun, here are a couple pictures I took during my trip to Cairo Egypt for ICIP 2009 and a brief introduction to some research that Professor Sabine Süsstrunk presented on Near-Infrared Imaging to improve digital photography in the years to come.
Professor Sabine Süsstrunk does research at EPFL in her Images and Visual Representations Group on high dynamic range imaging using visible and near-infrared (NIR) spectrum. She takes two pictures of a scene. First, she takes a "normal" picture which captures the visible spectral components of the scene. Then, she uses special NIR filters on her hacked camera to capture the NIR spectral components of the scene. The NIR spectrum does better on a hazy day because it does not get scattered as visible spectrum does.
A "normal" digital photograph uses color lenses to capture the visible color of a scene. NIR does not capture color, but it does capture high frequency components. So, it takes some fancy image processing on the normal and NIR-captured images to create nice high-dynamic range images. Take a look at Sabine's web page on NIR imaging to learn more and see actual improved images, and to hear it directly from the source.
When Sabine gets back to the lab she will process her pictures of the pyramids using her research techniques. We should be able to compare her pictures of the pyramids to mine. It was a nice hazy day, so we should see some nice improvements!
In the meanwhile, take a look at the pictures I took of Sabine taking her NIR pictures. Do you think we have a new camerawoman test image?